The portrait features MML student Joshua Moreton posing in formal attireLauren Charnley-Parr

A portrait painted by second-year Homerton student Lauren Charnley-Parr of Joshua Moreton, also a second year at the college, was installed without permission during a bop last Saturday (09/10) over a door in the Great Hall.

The oil painting then remained on display in the dining hall until Monday when it was noticed by the college staff and taken down.

Moreton said “It was nice to be featured among the greats at Homerton - if only for a moment.”

PBS student Lauren Charnley-Parr added “I just couldn’t stop laughing … couldn’t wait to see if it got noticed or whether porters would take it down immediately.”

The portrait of MML student Joshua Moreton was hung alongside those of eight former principals of Homerton, including founder Samuel Morley, Dame Beryl Paston Brown and the recently retired Professor Geoffrey Ward.

Charnley-Parr explained that her group of friends were eating in the Great Hall in Easter 2021 and discussing the various paintings of past college principals that lay before them when one of them wondered out loud if any of them would ever have their portrait up there. Another suggested that there was no need to wait to become principal – what if they could sneak a student’s self-portrait onto the wall without anybody noticing?

The group considered commissioning a painting until Charnley-Parr offered to paint the portrait herself and Moreton volunteered as her muse.

Moreton dressed in full formal gear and posed for Charnley-Parr, who finished the painting over the summer and brought it back to Homerton at the start of the new year.

The painter, her subject and their friends took the opportunity presented to them after the college’s first bop since 2019 to sneak the painting right above the door frame in the Great Hall, which is usually kept locked outside of meal times.

The next morning, the group were pleasantly surprised to see that the portrait was still in place as they ate brunch in the hall; Moreton had random students come up to him to ask whether he was “the guy from the painting”, and amused freshers greet him as “Lord Moreton”.

The painting was eventually taken down on the 11th by the college Bursar Deborah Griffin. Charnley-Parr asked the college why the picture was taken down, to which they responded that “it didn’t belong there”.

Varsity reached out to Homerton Bursar Deborah Griffin for comment on the removal of the painting from the Great Hall, to which she responded that “the hall only has pictures of past Principals”, and that there may be a place in college for it elsewhere. She also noted that so far “there has been no request for the picture to go anywhere”.

Charnley-Parr told Varsity that, even though the painting may not belong there, she believes it ought to, and is planning to get approval for it to be hung up in the JCR for future generations of Homerton students to see.

President of the Homerton Union of Students (HUS) Phoebe Hardingham told Varsity that while the HUS “did not have any involvement in the portrait’s installation”, they were “very impressed” with the “quality of art produced by Homerton students” and are planning to liaise with college about finding ways to exhibit a wider variety of art at Homerton.